City Journal Autumn 2014

Current Issue:

Autumn 2014
Table of Contents
Subscribe
Tablet Editions
Click to visit City Journal California

Readers’ Comments

Steven Greenhut
Now, the Union Pushback « Back to Story

View Comments (10)

Add New Comment:

To send your message, please enter the words you see in the distorted image below, in order and separated by a space, and click "Submit." If you cannot read the words below, please click here to receive a new challenge.

Comments will appear online. Please do not submit comments containing advertising or obscene language. Comments containing certain content, such as URLs, may not appear online until they have been reviewed by a moderator.


 
Showing 10 Comment(s) Subscribe by RSS
Given the leftist nature of so many of California's jurists, it is quite possible that the unions will win. That, however, would likely prove to be a Pyrrhic victory.

The people of California have awakened to the threat posed by runaway union demands upon the public treasury. They have voiced their concerns, and they are not likely to take kindly to yet another attempt to thwart their decision.
the surest way to undermine public union power is to pass a national right to work law. An unheralded point of Wisconsin is that teacher's union dues collections may have fallen by 50% due to passage of the provision. The failure of unions and the left to publicize or argue the fact prior to recall is some indication of the potent rightness of the measure.

Now an issue is emerging over institution of runoff primaries in Cali, which would only allow the top two aggregate vote getters to face each other in general election, regardless of whether they represent the same party, or no parties at all. This was instituted in Washington, and is a guaranteed method of stifling reform and debate within or between parties. The idea is to ensure that only "moderates" who represent the status quo and organized lobbyists can become state legislators.

This is frankly a violation of the US Constitutional provision that DC 'guarantee to each state a republican form of government'. When elections are rigged to guarantee the election of only one 'type' of public representative, or effectively abrogate the choice of the public to select representation through a political party, this is classic parliamentary government in the worst sense--not republican. It's like saying bluebloods are the best representatives--government should be devised to make sure that bluebloods dominate it.

Congressional districts have been litigated over less. I hope Mr Greenhut, you will address this in a future article. Or might you formally request that I do the honors? I'd be happy for some guidance.
In the end-game, the sufficiency of the money to pay for the promised benefits governs.

That's called REALITY and MR. MATH, and those 2 don't see the money in our future..
The unions here in California have nothing to fear with the most left wing courts in the nation on their side.It's going to take a very hard crash for our legislators to finally understand there is nothing to take from the citizens anymore.Democrats and math go together like water and oil.
B. Samuel Davis June 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM
Sorry - not 'Nova' but 'Frontline.' And I'm still learning when to use 'is' and 'are'!
B. Samuel Davis June 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM
Steven - this was all as inevitable as it was expected. Democrats made a corrupt bargain with public unions - the unions would provide Democrats with what is essentially taxpayer funds to Democrats as campaign donations in exchange for enormous wages and benefits. Since the Democrats controlled most major media no one said a word about this inherently pernicious arrangement - no '60 Minutes' specials, no 'Nova' programs, nothing.

And it has worked out fabulously for Democrats, who despite a century and a half record of repressing blacks, and a record of corruption in the cities, have managed to stay in power, thanks to the immense amounts of taxpayer derived funds from government unions. Republicans, handicapped as they are due the the lack of a spine, have never described this arrangement in plain terms - that is a corrupt bargain which leaves the non-governmental taxpaying citizens with a crushing burden of taxation.

Unfortunately, the greed of the unions, and the depravity of the Democrats have led to a situation where taxpayers have no money left to tax (that is, those taxpayers that remain as the latest census reveals, sizable numbers of taxpayers, including businesses, are fleeing places where these corrupt bargains have been made) and unions are refusing to accept even reasonable compromises. And Democratic media is having more and more trouble keeping the statistics showing the results of this corrupt bargain - the lopsided pay and benefit figures for the public sector.

Democrats are in a no win situation. High pay and benefits mean less public employees. Less employees mean less power and money. And less money for progressive causes, as well - but this is a very much secondary consideration, since these 'causes' are window dressing for other purposes, having to do with money and power. In other words, the Democratic leadership cares only about money and power and nothing about....anything else.

The shamefulness of the media is the real issue. No one in the media ever questioned the inherent problem with allowing public unions to make political donations. No one pointed out that these donations were only going to one party. No one in the Democratic media pointed out that as a result of these donations, the unions were getting unaffordable wages and benefits. No one pointed out that the unions had become essentially part of the government, and that Democrats had found a way to get taxpayer funding of their elections - no wonder Democrats support campaign finance reform - since it prevents other forms of donations, but doesn't limit Democratic availability to this corrupt method of obtaining taxpayers funds. And of course, no one in the Democratic media ever pointed out the corrupting effect of this arrangement on not just the political process but how the citizens look at government - as an instrument of repression through onerous taxes used to pay benefits which the citizens could never achieve in the private sector.

As noted above Democrats are now in a bind - to the extent that they do believe in progressive causes there is no money left to fund these causes. People are fleeing the states controlled by the parties to the corrupt arrangement between the Democrats ad the unions, and the poor economy in these areas means that it is becoming difficult to offset the population losses by immigration. Other parts of the corrupt scheme are falling apart as well - teachers are being blamed for poor student performance, which is ironically caused by Democratic destruction of the family in minority communities. And since populations are fleeing to states where public unions are absent each census Democrats find themselves losing more power to union free states.

As an additional irony, only a loss in the Presidential election would possibly allow Democrats to extend their Ponzi scheme. A Romney win would likely lead to a better economy, with more taxes. A win by Obama would likely doom the continuation of this corrupt arrangement in many areas.

One can only hope that you are right, that Democratic voters, including government employees, minorities, and others understand just how badly they have been used by the most corrupt entity on earth. The indications that the people are finally waking up are still few - two of how many places?

The bottom is coming, but it will still take awhile longer.
There's an inevitability to all this.

Having lost public support the unions are thrown back on sources of power which aren't immediately responsive to the public as a means on hanging onto what the unions have gotten over the years.

The problem is, that this approach, whether successful or not, can't help but infuriate the voting public meaning that elected supporters of the unions will either lose at the polls or be forced to moderate their support. Since those elected officials are, ultimately, representative of that voting public the unions are just playing the few, weak cards they have left to hopefully gain some time.

I'm going to predict that California will see a spate of primary challenges as more conservative Democrats seek to depose the sitting friends of unions. Be interesting to see how visible that struggle is. I trust City Journal and the Manhattan Institute won't let a struggle like that go uncommented?
Now the question will be whether the courts will rule that cities are so far inferior to unions that they have no rights that unions are bound to respect.
Union officials like to portray this struggle as between the "rich" and the unionized workers, but the battle is really between the well-paid union members and the hard-pressed taxpayers. Union leaders fail to understand that they are bankrupting states and municipalities with their demands and taxpayers are crying "enough!".
Unions have done a lot of good for Americans in the past but they must not become a burden on non-union workers and taxpayers. Their financial demands must be reasonable and affordable.
I worry about judges hearing the union lawsuits. Don't they have their own golden public pensions/benefits? Even if one or two judges are inclined to do the right thing, they will no doubt be lobbied heavily by colleagues to protect the golden goose that serves the judiciary every bit as well as the civil servants.